Hellooo!!!

I've been super busy over the last few months but I have some exciting things to tell you all! I've become absolutely obsessed with furniture make-overs on Pinterest and I've finally had a chance to do some of my own!!! Eeeeeeee!!!

I've wanted to take a sander and some paint to the table in my workspace for some time now and a few weeks ago I finally got my chance! I'm moving to a new place and thought it would make the most perfect dining table!

I found this great post on Centsational Girl  and proceeded to follow the instructions...mostly...  

My table took somewhat longer to clean and sand since it was pretty beaten up. Here's the all important 'before'!

A couple of years worth of ink and masking tape will do that to a table. Here it is with all the grime cleaned off it!

 
Anyway, Once I'd extracted the masking tape from the table and removed most of the ink and dye (I found nail polish remover did the best job of this as well as removing the sticky residue left by the tape) I began sanding!

I didn't have an orbital sander but a palm sander seemed to work pretty well for most of the table. I actually ended up doing a lot by hand especially around the edges and in other areas that weren't flat. I don't know much about sandpaper grades but I used the roughest one I could find and it made easy work of some of the more stubborn blemishes.

There were a few holes in the wood which I wanted to get rid of before painting. I filled these with putty! I didn't do any research on which one was best, I just used whatever I had lying around. This one was really easy to apply, you just use it straight out of the tub and smush it into the holes with a palette knife (or something with a flat edge). Then you can paint over it!

I applied two coats of primer with a sponge roller, sanding in between each to ensure a nice smooth surface. I was able to complete both coats in one day as it was very quick drying!

Here is my table after two coats of primer! I think you'll agree it looks a lot better! Those lines you can see across it are where the putty filled the holes.

The following day I began painting! I used a semi-gloss emulsion which I applied with the same foam roller for three coats, leaving 24 hours between each. I wanted to avoid brush strokes on my table but ended up getting an equally annoying orange peel finish. Only later did I discover that you should never use a roller to apply gloss paint! Typical.

This is how the table looked when it was finished. I should mention that I painted the table while it was open like that because I didn't want the sections to stick together. I don't know if that's a thing but I think it's better to be safe than sorry!!

I observed the three day curing time before applying a paint protector (in fact I didn't touch the table for 6 weeks because I went on holiday)! Unfortunately everyone was not quite as respectful of my table and when I returned there were a few marks and dings in it. This is why we can't have nice things!!!

I wasn't convinced that the wax recommended on Centsational Girl would give my table the kind of protection it obviously needed against my boyfriend and his general (but somehow loveable) carelessness. I considered Polycrylic but was warned that it might yellow over time. Knowing I wanted to avoid this my aforementioned boyfriend suggested something that would give me a completely flat finish whilst being ultra durable - automotive paint!!! I'm in love with this stuff!! It's quite a bit more pricey and you do need a special spray gun to apply it but it's so much fun to apply and the finish is totally worth it!

Make sure to follow all the instructions on the tin carefully (it needs to be mixed in very specific measures) and always spray in a well ventilated area WITH a face mask!!! This isn't your regular spray in a can!! If you spray in thin even layers, building them up slowly you end up with a gorgeous glossy finish with no drips, no brush strokes and no bobbly orange peel sections. Just lovely glassy (sturdy) paint! :)

This is the finished table (with the middle section removed)!!!!

I can't wait to show you how it looks with the chairs!! In fact I'm gearing up for an entire room reveal so keep your eyes peeled!!